Elements, Okura Prestige Bangkok (One-Star Michelin)

Above: Elements at the Okura Prestige Bangkok – upon receiving the one Michelin Star for the second year in a row in 2018 – has now become a go-to restaurant for those wishing to experience truly refined culinary arts and delicious creativities. 


No fussing is required when you dine at Elements – the award-winning fine-dining at the Okura Prestige Bangkok. By serving only degustation menus for dinner, the restaurant makes it easier for clients to enjoy their unique fares. A multi-course dinner here starts at Bt3,600++. The beef dish is an extra, upon-requested item on the side, along with the wine-pairing and Japanese-inspired drinks options.

Above: Sake martini with fresh Chinese plum au lieu pickled green olive, lending a nice new fermenting aroma.  

When the Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-nga 2019  was unveiled on November 16, 2018, Elements was among the 24 selected to receive the one-star recognition. As a flagship restaurant of the prestigious Japanese hotel chain, Elements leans on the Japanese roots. By sourcing most of its raw ingredients from Japan, the kitchen here spawns an array of new and unique culinary creations and so many tasty combinations. Fermentation, selections of pickling techniques and precise juxtaposition of tastes set this place apart from other French-inspired fine-dining restaurants in Bangkok.

For any course you choose, the dinner at Elements starts with the FOUR super crafty amuse-bouches that cleverly represent the four essential elements of life – earth, fire, water and air. Some of these amuse-bouches are directly inspired by Amsterdam’s Ciel Bleu, but with some local twists for new tastes.

Read more about Ciel Bleu creations in Bangkok here.

The Cracker, Eggplant, Goat Cheese (above) makes the first amuse-bouche and represents the fire element. The eggplant is smoothly puréed and served garnished with sprinkles of dried shiso leaves. A stack of paper-thin and very crispy crackers are perfumed with some elements of goat cheese.

The ‘Chicken Skin, Shrimp, Daikon Radish,’ the second amuse-bouche, represents the water element. When Chef Onno Kokmeijer came over to Bangkok to cook at Elements back in July this year, he unveiled this dish to a new tasty revelation. The extra crispy chicken skin, bursting with the fragrant chicken fat, provides an excellent base for the sweet and sour pickled radish and the tastiness of the shrimps. Awesome.

The third amuse-bouches – ‘Macaron, Tuna & Furikake‘ (for the wind element) is served with the fourth – Croquette of Parsnip, Shiso leaf & Karashi (the earth element). The tuna stuffing in the macaron is raw and lightly pickled, rendering some aromatic tangy sweetness. The croquette has the thinnest of the crispy shell that can barely contain the oozing filling of the creamed parsnip. On top of this small bite is the Japanese mustard called Karashi and the red shiso leaf. Super delicate and tasty.

This flute of kombucha – the clear, fermented tea that gives a refreshing tangy taste with a bit of sweetness – is served with the last two amuse-bouches.

Three-types of dinners rolls are passed around. The buckwheat rolls (pictured here, front) borrows the flour from the Japanese soba recipe, making for a chewy, fragrant bread with thin, light and crispy crust. Also very decadent is their buttery and flaky croissant (background, above). I can eat this scrumptiousness for the rest of the dinner and still think it is worth all my fatty worries.

Not in the picture but still very very delicious is the soft bun with nori top. All are served with two types of butter – regular butter and smoked miso butter. You cannot miss their smoked miso butter. 😀

The first course – ‘DAVID HERVÉ OYSTER’ with Toro, Pickles & Dashi beurre blanc – contains a lot of mixing and surprising flavours. The Japanese dashi stock (with kombu seaweed and bonito fish flakes) is combined with the creamy beurre blanc that angels its taste on the concentrated champagne reduction and sushi vinegar that lifts the whole thing up. Also, the pickled vegetable roots – beets, carrots – all tangy and crunchy go well with the deep sweetness of the Japanese seaweed (seen as the thin black strips in the dish).

FRUITS DE MER – roughly translated as mixed seafood – is another tasty combination of creaminess, tanginess, lightness, and crunchiness. While the raw Japanese seafood – bite-sized fish, shrimp, scallop and clams – provide a distinctive sweetness from the seas, the creamy anchovy custard and clam foam on top round off everything with interesting notes from the gin-pickled vegetables and fresh seaweed. Again, super lovely and delicate.

TARABA CRAB is a staple for Japanese haute ingredient. The meat of the king crab is shredded and cooked with the Japanese rice as in the Italian dish of risotto. The seaweed cracker on top of the rice, when cracked, unveiled a good dollop of uni (sea urchin) butter cradled in a ring of crispy seaweed. What a delicious combination.

LOCAL ORGANIC GARDEN is a beautiful, tasty and very refreshing salad dish made from local and imported veggies. Fresh paprika in three colours are julienned into stripes, tomatoes, fresh and sun-dried are served with cucumber on a bed of gelatinised tomato jus infused with basils.

Here comes the duck dish – LOCAL ORGANIC DUCK with the breast piece sous-vided and seared with a 12-spice crust. The duck is served with a dark duck jus with a crispy basket of mixed veggies and miso cream on the side. The skin, albeit its perfumery, was a bit thick and fatty. I would love it more if it were a little crispier, though.

Borrowing from a friend is this KUROBUTA PORK BELLY – sous-vided for 12 hours and served with pan-fried langoustine. The brightness comes from the julienned mini carrots and ginger. The sauce is also something to take note; it is flavoured by Japanese curry and parsley oil. Something so unlikely, but makes a perfect tasty pair.

Look at their PRE DESSERT above. The paper imprinted with the restaurant logo is made from Japanese rice, hence edible. You are supposed to roll the paper up and enjoy it with the refreshing combination of mango, yuzu curd, light meringues and pistachio. Very very lovely.

The final dish is, of course, the dessert. Called ‘GOMASIO,’ the sweet is a combination of homemade banana sorbet, orange zest crackers, ponzu (Japanese citrus) jelly, black sesame and Mekonga Cacao 70% from Vietnam.

The 5-course tasting menu dinner at Elements is Bt3,600++, 6-course Bt4,000++ and 7-course Bt4,400++ per person. The Japanese Wagyu Sirloin Beef A4 (75 grams) is an extra option at Bt1,300++.

Elements, The Okura Prestige Bangkok. 
Tuesdays – Saturdays: 18.00 – 22.30.
Dress code: smart casual, but no need to be stuffy.
BTS: Ploenchit.
T: (+66) 02 687 9000.

 


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